Hi Linda, you can easily work a "home-party" styled show with just a few pieces or sets of jewelry and some loose cabochons or beads. You can do a really nice display of your work and take orders, using the loose supplies you brought to inspire the sales. It really depends on how many guests are expected and what they think they want to purchase.
For a large, serious "cash and carry" home show, you would need a lot of inventory (also meaning it will take you longer to set up and break down). It has been my experience that the people who attend a home show expect to have some fun while learning about your product and socializing with their friends, therefore an "order" show like I described above with a reasonable delivery deadline is usually the way to go. This can be a great way for the artist to recover cash to replace their supply inventory, as well as test the waters to see what style of jewelry a particular customer group is interested in, as well as materials they prefer.
Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong